Words Are Not Cheap

Words Are Not Cheap

For years, I have thought that words are cheap because they rarely change anything or are just plain lies. We devalue our words when our words are not based on truth or are just hypocritical. It’s because they bring death to those that listen to them.

Bible Verse: Proverbs 18:21

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.”

The Word of God is clear. The greatest good and the greatest harm are in the power of the tongue. It’s no wonder that James said, “the tongue is a fire” (James 3:6).

Like fire, the tongue’s sinful words can spread destruction rapidly. Or as its accompanying smoke, those words can permeate and ruin everything around it.

Words of Affirmation

Recently I have been thinking about how people have different love languages. One of which is words of affirmation.

Everyone needs words of affirmation to one degree or another. It is true that some need affirmation more than others, but everyone needs at least some affirmation.

I can’t think of a better illustration than a woman in a relationship. We all know that men are not “big on words.” Unlike most women who tend to be vocal about how they feel, men, in general, are reserved. They do not always tell their women how important they are to them.

Words Have Power

It’s true that “Actions speak louder than words.” But women want their men to verbalize their thoughts and emotions. This is what some men are finding hard to understand. When the wife asks her husband if he loves her, her husband might say, “I married you, didn’t I?”

This is not the answer women want to hear from their significant other. Men should realize that women are different. They want assurance that their partner loves and values them, not just with action but also with words.

Choose Your Words Carefully

How we use our tongue can either build up or tear down others. And we must never forget that once we say something hurtful, we can’t take it back. Oftentimes, we hurt someone more than we intended to. That’s why we need to take a deep breath and think before we speak.

Many relationships were ruined because of hurtful words that the two parties threw at each other. This is another reason why we need to choose our words carefully.

This does not mean we cannot criticize others. However, truth be told it is very easy to be critical of others for many different reasons.

Are we known for being critical or affirming others? Is there room for improvement in how we use our tongue?

Affirming Others

Some might ask how should we affirm others? That is a good question. Colossians 4:6 answers that question.

“Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.”

To speak with grace is to speak what is spiritual, wholesome, fitting, kind, sensitive, purposeful, complimentary, gentle, thoughtful, loving, and truthful.

And just as salt not only flavors but prevents corruption, the believer’s speech should not only be a blessing to others. It should also be a purifying influence within the decaying society of the world.

The keyword in the verse is always. We should always be truthful while maintaining a gracious attitude toward others, so that we may speak with grace. How gracious are we?

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Closing Words

Jesus frequently used words to encourage and guide His disciples. We should learn how to use our speech to build up others rather than tear them down.

Let’s conclude with James 3:2.

“For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.”

We all continually fail to do what is right; no one is exempt. James is saying that anyone who can perfectly control his tongue is a perfect man. But of course, no one is immune from sinning with his tongue.

More likely, “perfect” describes those who are spiritually mature and thus able to control their tongues.

Let us then allow the Lord to teach and mold us to be more like Him. As we mature in our spiritual lives, we will learn to control our tongues. And then we will know how to choose our words carefully.

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Recommended Resource: Life According to the Truth by Michael Heilman

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